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CTU Bargaining Team To Vote On "Serious Offer" From CPS

CHICAGO (STMW) -- A vote on Monday could pave the way for a new contract for Chicago teachers. Members of the Chicago Teachers Union bargaining team were set to vote on the latest offer from the Chicago Public Schools.

Negotiations on a new deal have dragged on for more than a year, and the previous contract expired in June. On Monday, CTU's bargaining team was reviewing a proposal described as a serious offer.

CTU President Karen Lewis has said the offer's "basic framework calls for economic concessions in exchange for enforceable protections of education quality and job security."

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the 4-year deal would phase out the so-called "pension pickup." Since 1981, the city has agreed to pay for 7 percentage points of the 9 percent pension contribution for every CTU member. CPS would stop paying half of that in July, and the remaining half a year later. CTU members also would have to pay more for their health insurance.

Teachers would get raises of 2.75 percent next year, and then 3 percent for the following two years. They also would continue to receive step and lane increases that are based on factors such as their education and experience.

The district also would cap charter schools at existing levels, and could only open new charter schools after closing existing ones. CPS also would halt economic layoffs for the duration of the deal.

"This offer is a true compromise that requires sacrifices from both sides so that we can protect what is most important: the gains our students are making in their classrooms." CPS Chief Executive Officer Forrest Claypool said of the district's latest offer.

A 40-member committee of educators was reviewing the offer on Monday. A yes vote would send the offer to the union's House of Delegates for approval.

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